You’ve likely seen recent news stories showing videos of dust storms in Texas. While these storms can make affected areas look post-apocalyptic, there’s an explainable reason why dust storms happen. Dust storms often occur due to thunderstorms or cyclones that occur in dry areas. As wind kicks up dirt and dust, the resulting dust storm can lead to dangerous driving conditions.
Avoid them if possible
The best way to stay safe in dust storms is by avoiding them whenever possible. Dust storms severely reduce your ability to see what’s around you. Seeing noticeable clusters of dirt or dust fly over a road indicates a fast-approaching dust storm. If this happens, get off the road and preferably indoors. When that’s not an option, experts recommend pulling your vehicle over and shutting off its lights.
Turn off your car’s lights
A natural impulse when experiencing reduced visibility while driving is turning on vehicle’s lights. However, that’s a bad move in a dust storm. That’s because other drivers are also unable to see their surroundings. If a driver sees your vehicle, they can assume they’re close to traffic and out of the dust storm. Drivers who don’t act fast enough could slam into parked vehicles, causing car accidents.
Safely driving through dust storms
If you must continue driving in a dust storm, take it slow. You may also occasionally flash your vehicle’s lights, remembering not to leave them on. Experts recommend sounding your horn from time to time, which also signals other drivers of your presence.
While dust storms are understandably stressful events to deal with, no storm lasts forever. Prevent driving in dust storms by checking weather conditions for the area you drive in.